COMMODITIES-Oil, gold down most in 2 weeks; corn, copper rise

Mon May 13, 2013 5:25pm EDT

* Brent oil loses 1 pct on lighter U.S./China demand
    * Gold down similarly on stronger dollar, retail sales
    * Corn and copper rally, helping CRB to a steady close

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters) - Oil prices dropped their most
in two weeks on Monday on data pointing to lighter U.S. and
China energy demand, and gold slipped too as stronger U.S.
retail sales boosted risk appetite among some investors that
dulled the metal's safe-haven lure.
    The dollar's rally for a third consecutive session weighed
on demand for dollar-denominated raw materials among holders of
other currencies. The dollar surged to its highest level against
the yen since 2008 and rose against the euro as well.
    "The strength in the dollar has taken the wind out of"
energy and commodity markets, said Gene McGillian, analyst at
Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
    Even so, the 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB
index, ended steady after a run-up in a few markets,
including copper and corn.
    Ten of the CRB's 19 components fell by up to 1 percent each
and four of its top gainers, including corn and copper, rose by
about 2 percent or more. 
    Crude oil prices settled lower after a choppy day of
trading, hit by slowing oil demand in China and data showing the
biggest drop for U.S. retail gasoline sales in over four years. 
    Analysts said positive U.S. retail sales data supported the
idea that the U.S. economy was continuing to recover. But it did
not apply to gasoline sales, underscoring ailing demand for the
fuel. The U.S. retail data also strengthened the dollar, hurting
oil prices. 
    Data showed refinery crude throughput in China, the world's
second-largest consumer, fell 3 percent in April from March, its
lowest daily rate since last September, as refineries entered
maintenance season. Implied oil demand was up 3.2 percent in
April from a year earlier to about 9.6 million barrels per day,
the lowest in eight months.  
    "The economic data in China is not yet providing upward
support. It is not that it is weak, it is simply not sufficient
to support a bullish trend," Harry Tchilingurian, head of
commodity market strategy at BNP Paribas, said. 
    The benchmark Brent crude oil out of Europe's North Sea
 settled down $1.09 per barrel at $102.82, its biggest
loss since May 1. U.S. crude in New York ended the day 87
cents lower at $95.17 a barrel. 
    Gold fell for a third straight session, hovering near its
lowest price in nearly two weeks as stronger the U.S. retail
sales data inspired economic hopes and reduced the safe-haven
bid for gold.
    The spot price of bullion dropped 1.3 percent to
below $1,430 an ounce by 4:57 p.m. EDT (2057 GMT). Earlier in
the session, it hit a low of $1,426.40, near a two-week low of
$1,420. 
    Corn surged more than 3 percent in Chicago futures trading,
its biggest gain since the end of April, on concern that another
round of showers this week would stall planting in the U.S.
Midwest, where growers were already scrambling to catch up on
field work for corn delayed by a cool, wet spring. Firm cash
markets also supported corn futures.
     The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of
Trade, July, settled up 19-1/4 cents at $6.55-1/2 per
bushel. 
    Copper edged higher as weak Chinese factory data for April
raised expectations that the top metals consumer may embark on
further monetary easing that could underpin demand for metals.
    Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed
at $7,415 a tonne on Monday, up from a close of $7,375 on
Friday. It rose nearly 2 percent last week and hit $7,480 last
Wednesday, its highest in nearly a month. 
    
 Prices at 4:57 p.m. EDT (2057 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    94.99    -1.05  -1.1%    3.5%
 Brent crude                102.67    -1.24  -1.2%   -7.6%
 Natural gas                 3.925    0.015   0.4%   17.1%
 
 US gold                   1434.30    -2.30  -0.2%  -14.4%
 Gold                      1429.49   -18.21  -1.3%  -14.6%
 US Copper                  335.95     0.65   0.2%   -8.0%
 LME Copper                7415.00    40.00   0.5%   -6.5%
 Dollar                     83.258    0.115   0.1%    8.5%
                             
 
 US corn                    718.00    30.25   4.4%    2.8%
 US soybeans               1521.00    32.75   2.2%    7.2%
 US wheat                   701.50     4.75   0.7%   -9.8%
 
 US Coffee                  145.75     1.30   0.9%    1.4%
 US Cocoa                  2326.00    26.00   1.1%    4.0%
 US Sugar                    17.25    -0.18  -1.0%  -11.6%
 
 US silver                  23.696    0.038   0.2%  -21.6%
 US platinum               1484.50    -1.50  -0.1%   -3.5%
 US palladium               718.70    13.00   1.8%    2.2%